Stress Management: A Self Help Guide
There have been many words written about stress management, though many people do not realize that it can be managed. In fact, stress is a scary thing but it is also a self-creating thing. The more stress you feel, the less able you are to deal with the things that are stressing you, causing the stress to increase. This is a vicious cycle and the key to stress management is to not get into it in the first place. How do you do that? Well, there are many ways.
One of the most effective methods for managing stress is through meditation. This is a simple method of simply focusing the mind on nothing instead of focusing on everything that is stressing you out. It is not some sort of mystic trance or mysterious method. In fact, it is a simple method to help you strengthen your mind and learn to focus on the task at hand. Though there are many deep levels of meditation, the best place to start is with simply closing your eyes and taking deep breaths while concentrating on your breathing. By paying attention to your breathing and really focusing on it, your mind will clear itself out and permit you to relax easily. This is best done every single day as a preventive measure rather than as a cure for stress. However, it can also be effective when you need to ditch some stress in a jiffy.
As well, stress management is possible through simple chores or hobbies. Either building a model airplane or organizing a coin collection or cleaning the kitchen will help you get your mind on a task rather than on everything that needs doing. The tasks will still be there later, but simply giving your mind something to focus on that is not stressful will help you cope with stress much better. This method of stress management is a sort of distraction for your mind. It moves your mind away from all the things that are cluttering it and organizes something in your life, even if it is just your CD collection. And organizing something is a nice way to get your mind off of everything in your life that is not organized.
Another way to manage stress in your mind is to take care of your body. Playing a sport, lifting weights or running is a good way to clear your mind and get healthy at the same time. Going out to the gym and, for instance, playing racquetball is a good way to get your mind away from things and change your focus for a little while. As well, by taking care of your body you are also cleansing toxins from your system, enabling you to clear your system of those pollutants that aren't doing your mind any good. So take care of your brain by taking care of your body and give yourself a nice little mental break.
Stress management is also possible simply by owning a pet. People who have pets such as dogs or cats or even fish can simply watch their pet or even play with their pets, giving them a nice little break from the regular stresses and strains of life. It has been shown that pets are actually better than spouses for relieving stress, as spouses have expectations of you. A pet, however, is going to love you no matter what and that is a nice thing to think about after a hard day of work. And petting a dog or cat has been shown to be very therapeutic. So, if you are stressed out all the time, it may be time to get yourself a pet in order to have a friendly face waiting for you whenever you walk in the door.
The final stress management technique here is probably the most important. That is to get some sleep. Let's face it, nobody gets enough sleep any more. People are usually getting at least two hours less than they need every night, putting them into serious sleep debt. This debt is going to have to be paid up sometime, but sleeping in on the weekends is not going to get it done. The adult body needs, on average, 8 hours of sleep every night, but most adults get about 6 hours. This does not do your body any good and it does not do your mind any good. In fact, it tends to weaken the mind and make it more susceptible to stress, which is exactly what you want to avoid. So get to bed early and make sure that you are getting the sleep you need every night.
Stress management is fairly easy once you get used to it. Unfortunately, most people do not create the proper stress management habits, causing them to spiral into stress constantly. By allowing yourself the breaks you need and by giving your mind the stress relief it demands, you can relax, stay focused, and keep stress away.
About the Author
Trevor Dumbleton is the owner of http://www.LowerYourStress.com/ a categorized resource directory for everything to do with stress.